Unmanned Aerial Vehicles
Today you can buy a Google phone and get GPS, Computer, Linux, Camera, and Internet in a very small package. This can also control servos through a USB port. Making a UAV is getting really easy.
UAVs are regulated over land and so not used much. But in the open ocean regulations are not such a show stopper. The lack of regulations is a competitive advantage for developers. Could then sell UAVs to ship owners for pirate patrol or other applications.
While probably not critical to the first seasteads, UAVs could eventually make life on seasteads better in a number of ways.
Trains used to hand off mail and pick up mail while going at full speed. We could make a system such that small packages (maybe 25 lbs to 200 lbs) could be delivered from a UAV to a seastead. This might be as simple as a rope with a hook from a pole leaning over the side of the seastead. The UAV would fly such that a loop caught on the hook and pulled the package out the back of the UAV. There is a UAV helicopter with 150 lbs payload, 100+ MPH, and 6 hour flight time.
This could be done just from seasteads out in the ocean with no help from land. UAVs could stay between 500 feet and 1000 feet so they were not going to hit ships or airplanes. Probably would not raise too much protest.
The ability to quickly get a medical supplies or a replacement part could make living on a seastead much easier.
A UAV flying high can relay communications over long distances. If the UAV is located between the seasteaders and land it could link them to land.
To do this we something on land wherever we want to link to. These might be cellular Internet or other existing commercial service, or it might be something dedicated to us. The higher the UAV flies the longer the potential link distance is. A UAV could hang out higher than normal airplane traffic. However, getting to/from there it would have to pass through regular airplane heights. There may be people who don't like this and they could block it by regulating the land bases. However, there are lots of different islands and some are small enough that they would not want to lose the money paid for the right to do this. So probably something could be worked out, but at a cost/year.
Multiple UAVs could be used to make links covering very long distances, like all the way across the Atlantic.
Rope between Seasteads
Could use a small quadcopter to bring an initial line between two seasteads that wanted to do a ship-to-ship transfer.
UAVs with cameras could patrol a wide area around the seasteads. Could also use infrared or radar. Would make a quick sneak attack by pirates very hard.
- dragonfly.com - commercial multicopter
- Camcopter S-100 - UAV helicopter - cruise 55 kts with endurance 6 hours with 55 lbs payload
- DIYdrones.com - Amateur UAVs
- list of UAV projects
- Paparazzi - open source flight computer project
- OpenUAV - open UAV project
A quadcopter with GPS and camera.
Collection of different unmanned vehicles.
Someone using a RC helicopter to catch a fish.